Inventory For Home Owners Insurance

April 17, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin

Inventory for Home Owners Insurance

Home Owners Insurance; it’s not just about paying your premiums…

Your home is your castle; however it is at risk from a number of disaster circumstances such as fire, severe weather related events, or home burglary, just to name a few. These are reasons why nearly all of us have home owners insurance.

But if you ever had to use it, would you be able to recall all of your inventory?

 
Even for the fully prepared, home owners insurance will typically provide some relief immediately following an emergency, followed by the remainder once the full effects of the damage have been assessed in order to compensate.

Question…
If your house burned down, would you remember all of the things that were inside? Could you document a list for the insurance company? Chances are that you would not remember everything, and in fact you would probably miss or forget quite a lot; especially during the time frame immediately following the disaster–a time when you may not be thinking too clearly.

Although I’ve posted on this before, it’s worth a reminder…
The best way to be sure that your home owners insurance will pay for your lost items is to have proof that these things were actually there inside your home. The most tedious method is to document and inventory all of the items in a list (paper or computer record) and keep it off-site somewhere not in your home, or simply in a good fire rated safe at home.

Since most people will procrastinate taking the time to inventory their things, a very simple method is to video everything in your home. This is so easy to do that there should be no excuse not to do it once you have read this post. If you don’t have a video camera or a smart phone with video capability, then take pictures of everything, and I mean everything. Digital pictures are free. No excuses…

house-insurance-video-inventory

Be very methodical about the video or picture process so there will be no question regarding your home owners insurance claim and inventory.

One room at a time, video and pan the entire room, s-l-o-w-l-y. Then, open the closets and do the same. Then, think about contents in drawers or boxes and open each one of them and video the contents within. Open jewelery boxes, look everywhere, think about anything of value. You will not miss anything so long as you systematically go through each room and every space in the room. Don’t forget the basement or attic where you may have stored items.

You will be surprised at the number of items and objects that you have tucked away here and there, many of which will have tangible value (it all adds up), items that you would probably have forgotten about after-the-fact while trying to document items under the stress of the process of filing a home owners insurance claim.

Now this is the most important part… when you are done with documenting your inventory, you must secure the inventory list from potential damage from the very emergency you have home owners insurance for…

house-insurance-safe-documentation

Whether you’re using an ‘old fashioned’ video camera with “tape”, or a modern digital model with removable storage, simply store the tape or storage media off-site somewhere (safety deposit box) or in your home inside of a Fire-Safe.